The weather’s getting warmer and the shopping centres have already started playing carols. You know what that means – the holiday season is fast approaching, and with it, the knowledge that Christmas lunch/dinner is happening in your backyard this year. But the yard’s a mess! What can you do to prepare? Good thing you’re getting started early. Here’s a few ideas to get your outdoor entertaining started.
1. The Lawn
First things first, get your lawn looking presentable. How long has it been since you mowed? Warmer weather means faster growing grass, and it means you’re going to be mowing once a week from now own. But what if the grass is too far gone? It’s scrubby in places and patchy in others? Now would be a good time to consider getting someone like Hancey’s Turf to rip it all up and replace it with something much nicer and far more maintainable. Getting that done now will give the grass plenty of time to take root, blend, grow a little and look more natural by the time Christmas Day rolls around.
The sprucing up of the lawn ties into this next point. Decor is important for creating a subtle vibe, and it allows you to liven up the area with items that contrast with or accent the colour of the grass behind it. A nice vase, some plants, even the cushions on your outdoor seating – all of these options, and many more, can be leveraged in a creative way that really ties the whole area together.
Make sure you’ve got everything you need well in advance. Things like plastic plates, cups and cutlery are great because it keeps washing up at the end of the day to a bare minimum. Make sure you have a cooler for drinks and get some ice the night before to put in it. Have lots of snacks and finger food ready to go for guests to snack on until the meal is ready. A good host is prepared for anything.
This is another important area. How many mouths will you have to feed this year? Are there are dietary requirements you need to consider, like vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free options? Are they bringing kids? What will they eat? Reach out to your relatives and double-check these things because it will give you loads of ammunition for when it’s time to start cooking up a feast. You could also get everyone to bring a bowl or plate of something they’re really good at making to buff up the total available food.
Remember that when celebrating outside, bugs are going to be the bane of your existence unless you do something about them. Citronella candles will fit in nicely with most decor and will keep the bugs at bay. If the shindig is continuing into the evening, make sure you’ve got some spray-on repellent handy. It’s also a good idea to stock up on things like mesh covers for your bowls and plates. They’re highly effective at keeping the bugs from landing on, and contaminating the food.
Now that you’ve got a bunch of different ideas, you’ll be ready to put on a holiday lunch the family will remember. What’s your strategy for hosting holiday gatherings? Do you get proactive and go all out or take the steady-as-she-goes approach? Have you ever had it all go horribly wrong? Let us know in the comments below!